Indiana’s Clark County Faces Possible Layoffs

by Devin Katayama on August 3, 2011

Clark County, Indiana continues to struggle with a $1.2 million dollar deficit. Now, the council must decide on Monday how to prevent layoffs to municipal employees.

Clark County Attorney Greg Fifer sent an internal memo on Tuesday asking for the commissioners to deny any request to pay claims or payroll at their Thursday meeting because the county can’t make its payments. This includes issuing layoff notices that would go out as early as Aug. 9 unless the council approves a stop-gap measure.

There are a few options that will likely stop layoff notices, said Council President Kevin Vissing.

“We can either borrow money now and pay our bills as we go and then pay that back this fall when we get our dispersment from our taxes. Or we could go ahead and use some funds we have now and borrow later,” said Vissing.

But, Clark County will probably have to go further, he said.

“Realistically we are going to come up probably over $1.5 million short for the year. So I think we’ve got to continue on with potential layoffs and furloughs and cuts anywhere that anybody can cut money in their budgets,” Vissing said.

The county lost significant revenue after reducing property tax collections around 25 percent in 2007 during a budget surplus, he said. State law prevents the county from reinstating the previous tax rate, but can increase it less than 3 percent each year for inflation, he said.

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